Sunday, May 06, 2007

Books and Libraries?

So, I got to thinking... I am not a historian or anything, but I know that the greatest and oldest of libraries were in the Arab world, like the picture here of Nineveh, Iraq, or Alexandria, Egypt. And it got me to thinking about the whole bookstore issue and further to wondering about the issue of books, reading, knowledge, libraries, and initiative.
Which led me to wonder: How many libraries are there in Kuwait? I mean public, non-specific ones. And then I started thinking: How many publishing houses are there in Kuwait, or even neighboring countries? I mean really top quality publishing that produces beautiful books. And if, as I suspect is the case, there are not many libraries and publishers, then why the heck are the people not up-in-arms demanding them? I have read so many blogs about The Avenues Mall and how people are upset about not having enough new and different stores in it, but I have yet to see as much of an outcry for books.
And, if the problem is the religious factor, how can they justify that? The whole of the Qur'an is a call to humanity to seek knowledge, think, and could much of the Arab world have moved away from its previous love of books?


Haider said...

Hello Carly,

I was wondering about libraries myself!

I accidentally found a public library in Salwa. For several months, every time I went there it was closed, with no schedule of opening hours or any notice at all.

It was later re-opened, but with limited facilities (e.g. you can't borrow books!), and is not opened at the weekends.

The environment there was very nice, but there was only one "foreign books" section, and the books in it were a mix of English, French and other language books, which made it hard to search for books.

I didn't see any computer terminals to search for books, but I didn't ask the librarian if she can run a search for me (esp. since I didn't have any book in mind to search for).

I'll have to wait and see how Salwa's library develops..

Carly said...

Hello Haider,
Thanks. At least that is something. :) I just wonder WHY can't there be the same emphasis placed on books and culture as there is on buying? Insha'Allah. :) Thanks for stopping by.